Western Law

Venkatesh, Vasanthi

JD, MA (Law and Diplomacy), MS, BE


Vasanthi Venkatesh is a refugee lawyer and international human rights consultant based in Toronto. Her academic interests lie in human rights and social justice, in global migration issues, and in interdisciplinary approaches to the law. Her current research focuses on obligations of states under international law to criminalize intimate partner violence, legal pluralism and customary law in the context of gender justice in Africa, and on the "particular social group" basis in international and domestic refugee laws.

In her private practice, she specializes in refugee rights litigation at the Canadian Federal Court and the Refugee Board. Her clients are predominantly women, LGBT persons and minorities who have faced violence, persecution, and systemic discrimination. She is also an international law consultant for Equality Effect (formerly the African and Canadian Women's Human Rights Project) where she is engaged in a cross-continent, collaborative strategizing effort for womenís empowerment through litigation and research support.

Vasanthi Venkatesh has worked for human rights groups in Kenya, Thailand, Hungary, United States and India, addressing an array of human rights issues such as anti-discrimination, gender justice, labour rights, minority rights, housing rights, and civil liberties. Her JD is from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law and Masterís in Law and Diplomacy is from the Fletcher School, Tufts University with a specialty in public international law and international human rights. Before entering law, she earned a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University and has worked in the high-tech sector in Boston for several years. She currently sits on the board of the Industrial Accident Victim's Group of Ontario Legal Clinic and Newcomer Women's Services Toronto.

Teaching In 2013-2014

Course Term Credits

Email: vvenkat5@uwo.ca
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